For the Only Watch 2023 charity auction, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud is offering a new version of the FB3 collection: a one-of-a-kind model presented in a patinated bronze case, a tribute to the ‘Master Watchmaker’ title granted to Ferdinand Berthoud just 270 years ago.
In 2018, the brand introduced five one-of-a-kind FB 1R Regulator bronze models. Their bronze cases featured five different patinas, as if they had just emerged after a long stay in the underwater depths – a tribute to the world of onboard marine chronometers once developed by Ferdinand Berthoud himself.
Since then, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud has unveiled new movements, the latest of which powers the FB 3 collection. The unique timepiece created for Only Watch 2023 has a 42.30 mm diameter patinated bronze in a distinct brown shade.
This patina symbolises the passage of time and celebrates an anniversary: in 1753, exactly 270 years ago, Ferdinand Berthoud received the ‘Master Watchmaker’ title, at the age of just 26.
The FB 3 “Only Watch” model houses the world’s only calibre with a cylindrical balance-spring officially chronometer-certified by the COSC.
This new mechanical hand-wound movement stems from more than three years of research and development. Appearing at 9 o’clock, the three main escapement organs – the balance-wheel, pallet-lever and escape-wheel – are thus individualised, distinct and prominent.
This ample space dedicated to the regulating organ enables its operation to be admired in full, and the cylindrical balance-spring to be seen beating throughout the three-day power reserve, including through a large porthole created in the case middle at 9 o’clock.
The FB 3 “Only Watch” model (ref. FB 3SPC.5) reflects the colour codes of the 2023 edition of this charity auction. The finely decorated movement spotlights 3N yellow gilded components. The blue colour appears on the gold hands with CVD treatment. Pink hues are found on the jewels visible on the dial side.
Two straps will be delivered with this one-of-a-kind model: an aged calf leather strap recalling the patina of the case; and a dark green alligator strap in harmony with the Only Watch 2023 colour chart.
The caseback features a special “ONLY WATCH PIECE UNIQUE” engraving recalling the exceptional character of this creation.
The Chronomètre FB 3 “Only Watch” will be put up for bidding at the eponymous auction to be held in Geneva on 5 November.
Model: Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 3 “Only Watch” 2023, Unique Piece
Ref. FB 3SPC.5
Round case in brown patinated bronze with a transparent sapphire ‘porthole’ at 9 o’clock
Total diameter: 42.30 mm
Thickness: 9.43 mm
Water resistance: 30 metres
Crown diameter: 8.50 mm
Crown in brown patinated bronze with FB logo in titanium
Exhibition back in sandblasted titanium fitted with a glare-proofed sapphire crystal pane
Domed sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides
Eggshell-coloured peripheral inner bezel ring for the hours and minutes, in sandblasted silver-toned brass
Eggshell-coloured seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, in sandblasted silver-toned brass
Sandblasted and 3N gilded visible components of Calibre FB-SPC
Facetted and skeletonised and open-tipped hours and minutes hands in 18-carat gold with blue CVD treatment
Seconds hand with counterweight in 18-carat gold with blue CVD treatment
Arrow-shaped power-reserve hand in 18-carat gold with blue CVD treatment
Mechanical hand-wound Calibre FB-SPC
Diameter: 37.30 mm
Thickness: 9.89 mm
Lignes: 15 ’’’
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Number of components: 230
Number of bridges: 16
Slip-spring barrel (automatic uncoupling when maximum power reserve is reached)
Variable-inertia balance with four fine-adjustment screws and 12 load screws
Cylindrical balance-spring with hand-crafted Berthoud terminal curves
Swiss lever escapement
Crown-activated stop-seconds mechanism
Mainplate and bridges in sandblasted and 3N gilded nickel silver
Hand-decorated to the highest watchmaking standards
Officially chronometer-certified by the COSC
Central display of the hours and minutes, seconds at 6 o’clock and power reserve at 2 o’clock
Dark green alligator leather strap
Chestnut brown aged calfskin leather
18 mm pin buckle in sandblasted titanium
Strap length: 125 x 70 mm – other sizes available on request)
CHF 160,000 – 180,000